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Colorado Chamber releases end-of-year Covid-19 business impact survey results

Businesses weigh in on 2021 legislative session, vaccinations and economic fallout of pandemic, and priorities for 2021

Denver—The Colorado Chamber of Commerce released on Wednesday the results of its fifth Covid-19 business impact survey. The survey was conducted between Dec. 7-11, and focused on the impact Covid-19 continues to have on the Colorado business community and their priorities for 2021, including vaccination plans and legislative action.

“The economic fallout from Covid-19 can be felt among businesses of all sizes throughout the state,” said Chuck Berry, president of the Colorado Chamber. “But the business community in Colorado is resilient and forward-thinking, and right now, they’re focused on leading our state to an economic recovery. As we look ahead to 2021, the biggest request we have for lawmakers is to allow employers and their employees to get to work without burdensome new tax increases or regulations. Businesses have already endured one of the worst economies in decades and we can’t afford additional barriers to recovery.”

Question: With hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine becoming widely available in 2021, has your company started to develop a prospective plan or policy surrounding vaccination for employees and/or customers?

The survey covers businesses of all sizes across the state and includes a wide variety of diverse industries. Survey highlights include:

  • Roughly one-third (33 percent) of businesses say they’ve experienced a slight or moderate negative impact on company success due to Covid-19, while 11 percent have experienced a strong negative impact.
    • Small businesses have been particularly hard-hit: 65 percent of small businesses (1 to 49 employees) report being negatively impacted by the pandemic.
  • More than half (53 percent) of businesses expect the economic fallout of the virus to continue beyond 2021.
  • Approximately 44 percent of businesses had to make workforce adjustments due to the pandemic.
    • 16 percent laid of employees but have since hired them back.
    • 20 percent laid off employees and have not hired them back.
    • 8 percent did not lay off employees, but reduced salaries.
  • The top requests from the business community of the legislature in the 2021 legislative session are:
    • Avoiding increases in taxes on businesses (87 percent).
    • Covid-19 liability protection for companies that follow public health guidelines (80 percent).
    • Allow some exceptions to public health orders for certain businesses that meet or exceed guidelines (56 percent).
  • 75 percent of small businesses (1 to 49 employees) who responded to the survey say they don’t qualify for the Covid-19 small business assistance recently passed by the state legislature in the special session.
  • In anticipation of a Covid-19 vaccine in Colorado, about one-third of businesses (31 percent) have started to develop a prospective plan or policy surrounding vaccination for employees or customers. In the open-ended responses to this question, many indicated that they will encourage vaccination but not require it.

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